Letter from Samuel Osgood to John Sullivan Dwight
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Nashua. Aug 13 . 1840. My dear John. As we do not live under the law, but under grace, I will not say, that you owe a letter, & therefore I have not written & ought not to write. It is true you owe me one, but nevertheless I will treat you in Gospel fashion, & write. I have felt many a time since the delightful jaunt to Northampton, like sending you an epistle, & have sent you many a passing thought. But verily I have been the busiest man in the world, & you will believe me, when I say that since spring I have translated six hundred pages of German, besides taking care of my parish, travel- ling, overseeing district schools & attending diverse ordinations. I have not heard from you except through your sisters, though I have not doubted, that you were busy & happy - busy became happy & happy became busy. You have felt the happiness of having a home of your own, & probably can sympathize with my feelings before coming to Nashua. Before, when I was around Cambridge, preaching hither & thither, I felt as if I had no vacation, and were a cumberer of the ground. Now all is changed - I can look the working-man in the face, & feel, that I too am a worker. We had a delightful time at your ordination. Its sights & sounds haunted ear & eye for many a day after. That excursion to the Mountain was one of the fairest passages in my life. We were all in the spirit, & sweet Nature seemed quite in the spirit too. Thank Heaven, the charm does not go from life yet, & the infernal dream, that has often haunted me, that professional routine must soon tame us into plodders or worldlings, has not yet come true. Must it ever come & is earnest industry incompatible with ardor, freedom & fresh life? I trust not, & am happy, that experience thus agrees with my theory. How wide awake the world is about transcendentalism - the papers are half filled with it. Really I should think the Dial might find subscribers enough, if notice & abuse could bring them. You contribute I see. I dont know whether my muse is of ethereal feather enough to wing her way so high as to gain the empyreal portal. But I shall make some attempts, as soon, as I find leisure & finish my book, which I expect to do by October. There are some good things in the Dial, but on the whole it has come short of expectation. Emerson has been especially meagre in his gifts. I cannot write much, without compensation. For I am now so mercenary, that I am resolved to work to my utmost to get out of debt. Ere long I hope to celebrate the day of Jubilee, & call myself wholly my own man. Cursed is the bondage to debt. If I however soon get free, I may find cause to bless the industry, which has thus been forced. Shall we not meet at Commencement? I trust so. Get as many of our class, as can, gather together. I make it a point of duty to go to Cam, every Commencement. We shall probably have some- thing very good from young Dr Woods. I heard from Simmons the other day. He said he should return from New York by the west of Massachusetts, & visit Everett & yourself & probably Nashua. Pray tell him if he comes, by all means to visit me, for I wish to see him very much, & for more, than one reason. Would that you & I were near enough to exchange conveniently. Next year at least we can. I have not forgotten many kind & interesting friends in your flock. Please remember me to the Church family. There is my bright companion up the mountain. Please remember me to her. I really believe, John, if I lived in Northampton, it would not be so well for my calm philosophy as this Nashua. How beats your pulse. Does the love of nature predominate over human passion still? Do write soon, & believe me Ever your affectionate friend Sam'l Osgood NASHUA N.H. AUG 14 Rev. John S. Dwight. Northampton. Mass.
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